After roller-coaster year, Abbott moves to close Alere deal

Abbott will add about $7 billion in diagnostics sales with its acquisition of Alere.

After spending a year trying to wriggle out of its deal to acquire Alere, Abbott agreed on new terms for the acquisition in April this year. Now, Abbott is slated to complete the transaction on Tuesday.

Alere will bring Abbott about $7 billion in diagnostics sales, including $2.5 billion from point-of-care testing, the company said in a statement.

"Creating the world's leading point of care business will help Abbott meet the growing demand for fast, accurate and actionable information," said Brian Blaser, Abbott’s executive vice president of diagnostics products, in the statement. "Combined with Abbott's existing point of care business and its leading hand-held platform, i-STAT, we now have the broadest point of care testing portfolio to help improve care for patients in more parts of the world."

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The announcement comes as the pair received all of the required regulatory clearances for the merger. To allay antitrust concerns, Alere divested some of its assets this summer. It sold off its Triage and B-type naturietic peptide assay businesses to diagnostics maker Quidel for $440 million. A week later, it offloaded its blood gas assets to Siemens in order to get the European Commission to sign off on the deal.

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Abbott first announced in February 2016 that it would fork over $5.8 billion to acquire the diagnostics maker in order to expand its reach in the POC diagnostics market. But things soon went sour: Alere was under investigation for corrupt international sales practices, and Abbott offered the diagnostics maker $50 million to call it quits.  

But Alere held on, filing a complaint in August in Delaware Chancery Court to try to force the acquisition. Abbott countered with its own lawsuit in December, seeking to terminate the deal. The pair finally agreed to dismiss their lawsuits and settled on new acquisition terms in April. Abbott will now pick up Alere for $51 per common share, bringing the deal value to about $5.3 billion.

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